We all know that cockroaches are particularly repulsive little critters who love to live in unsanitary places and spread disease. But did you know that now cockroaches have also been linked to allergies and asthma? During the last 20 years, there has been a lot of research done on cockroach allergens, and it is now known by the scientific community that cockroaches can trigger and exacerbate asthma symptoms in susceptible populations. So, now more than ever, we are learning the importance of controlling and preventing cockroaches within our homes.
What does the research say?
Cockroaches molt regularly, leaving bits and pieces of exoskeleton wherever they go. This cockroach debris, along with their excrement and saliva, contains a specific protein that is a trigger for many people with allergic tendencies. This debris is also just the right size to be lifted into the air and breathed in. All together, the combination of an allergic tendency, plus exposure to the allergen, means that cockroaches may be the cause of many people’s asthma problems. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says that 63% of homes contain cockroach allergen, and in urban areas those numbers can be as high as 78-98% of homes.
What are the symptoms of a cockroach allergy?
Because cockroach allergies can be so similar to other illnesses, they are often hard to diagnose. Some common symptoms include: coughing, congestion, skin rash, ear and sinus infections, and wheezing. If these are caused by cockroaches, the symptoms will generally be chronic and not go away like seasonal allergies. If you suspect that this could be the cause of your allergies or asthma, more specialized tests like a skin prick test or a specific IgE blood test can be done to check.
How can I prevent cockroaches?
Combatting cockroaches can be difficult at times, especially with pernicious species like the German Cockroach, but with a little bit of effort, you can help keep your family safe and healthy. Here are some important things you can do to prevent cockroaches from becoming a problem in your home.
- Keep your home clean
- Wipe down counters
- Sweep and vacuum regularly
- Cover and put away leftover food
- Wash dishes immediately after use
- Fix leaks to prevent excess moisture
- Take out the trash frequently
- Get rid of piles (clothing, papers, boxes, yard waste, general debris)
- Hire a pest control company to perform regular treatments
If you need help getting a cockroach problem under control or want to prevent them from becoming a problem, the professionals at EcoArmor Pest Defense are here to help. We offer a comprehensive program to help control household pests. We are a veteran owned and operated company, so you can be assured that our core values are of the highest standards. At EcoArmor, we know that when it comes to pests, the best offense is a great defense. Give us a call today.